Abbas with Colombian President 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday reiterated the
Palestinians’ commitment to the peace process with Israel on the basis of the
establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, with
Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas’s statement came during a meeting in
Ramallah with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
The PA’s official
news agency Wafa reported that Abbas briefed his guest on the latest
developments surrounding the peace process and international efforts to resume
talks between the Palestinians and Israel.
Meanwhile, the PA said Tuesday
that no date has been set for another visit to the region by US Secretary of
State John Kerry.
Kerry was expected to arrive in the region this week in
yet another bid to revive the stalled negotiations.
PA officials said
that Abbas and Kerry were scheduled to meet in Ramallah or Jordan in the coming
Some Palestinian officials said that Kerry’s apparent decision to
postpone his trip to the region was a sign that his efforts have
The officials claimed that Kerry has failed to persuade the
Israeli government to accept the PA leadership’s demand for a full cessation of
settlement construction and the release of Palestinian prisoners in order to
pave the way for the resumption of the peace process.
a senior Fatah official, blamed Israeli “intransigence” for the failure of
Abdullah told the Bethlehem- based news agency Ma’an
that Israel was refusing to give Kerry “clear answers” regarding the
establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967
The Fatah official claimed that Kerry postponed his planned visit
because he was supposed to relay Israel’s answers to the PA
The PA Ministry of Information said on Tuesday that Israel
was not interested in a “just and balanced peace” with the
The ministry said in a statement that Israel was continuing
to confiscate land and build settlement units “without taking into consideration
efforts to reach a just settlement.”
It added that “settlements and peace
do not go together.”
PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said
that the only way to make Kerry’s efforts succeed was by “confronting and
deterring Israel and holding it accountable for its practices.” Ashrawi called
on the international community to intervene to stop Israeli “violations and
measures, including settlement expansion, land confiscation, settler assaults
and house demolitions, especially in occupied Jerusalem.”
She warned that
Israel’s polices and actions were threatening to thwart Kerry’s efforts, adding:
“We could witness the end of the two-state solution and the establishment of a
The situation could explode, increasing violence and
affecting the entire region.”